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Continuous Glucose Monitoring

With a blood glucose meter, you use blood to do the test whereas CGM is continuous glucose monitoring.

Continuous glucose monitoring isn’t blood glucose monitoring as the sensors with a CGM machine are placed into your body but not into the bloodstream.

The sensors measure the glucose in your interstitial fluid – the fluid in and around your body’s cells.

The relationship between glucose concentrations in interstitial fluid (ISF) and blood has generated great interest due to the possibility of gaining up to 288 glucose level readings a day without having to do finger pricks.

CGM is less invasive

Basically, CGMs are a less invasive technique for measuring glucose. CGM can be used whether you wear a pump or use injections for your insulin delivery. CGM systems work 24 hours a day and can include alarms to indicate when your glucose levels are too high or too low.

How do I get continuous glucose monitoring (CGM)?

You can buy a continuous glucose monitor but it is first well worth finding out if you qualify for use of a CGM on the NHS.

The 2015 NICE guidelines covering the management of type 1 diabetes in adults recommends that continuous glucose monitoring is offered to people struggling with hypoglycemia such as a complete loss of hypo awareness or more than one severe hypo per year with no obvious cause.

The guidelines covering children are similar and children should be offered continuous glucose monitoring if they are having frequent episodes of severe hypos or having significant problems as a result of impaired hypo awareness.

Healthcare teams should have expertise in use of CGMs to be able to offer the technology and availability of CGM use may be limited depending on demand.

  • Read more on accessing CGM technology on the NHS

Continuous glucose monitoring product guides

Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) is steadily becoming a more in demand way of monitoring diabetes control for people on intensive insulin therapy, with North America currently leading the way in terms of uptake.

Is it still blood glucose monitoring?

People may assume CGM is continuous glucose monitoring but it is not blood glucose monitoring, as the sensors used are placed into the body but not into the bloodstream.

With a blood glucose meter, you use blood to do the test. With the sensors, they actually measure the glucose in your interstitial fluid, not your blood.

The CGM system can be used whether you wear a pump wearer or use injections for your insulin delivery.

How can CGM help my diabetes control?

By providing as many as hundreds of readings a day, continuous glucose monitoring can help to provide a very clear idea of how long you are spending with high and low glucose levels.

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